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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Leyland right to be concerned about Smyly, who heads to DL again

If it seems to you like the Tigers have never had their rotation lined up all season long, thanks to one issue after another, you’re not alone.

“If we can get synchronized and healthy in the pitching staff, I’d be tickled to death,” manager Jim Leyland said, admitting he can never feel comfortable that is happening. “Every time I think about that, something else pops up.”

Next up: a small tweak in the side — an intercostal strain, to be specific — of rookie lefty Drew Smyly that has landed him on the 15-day disabled list, backdated to July 7, the day after his last start. Luis Marte was recalled from Toledo on Saturday, and multiple reports say that Jacob Turner will start in Smyly’s spot on Tuesday.

At the time it happened, the strain wasn’t even serious enough to end Smyly’s night early.

Leyland and trainer Kevin Rand went to the mound to investigate, but the youngster talked them into letting him pitch another inning, and get through the sixth.

But it still concerned Leyland.

“It was sore yesterday ... and it’s in that area where you always worry about,” Leyland said a week ago, “but it doesn’t appear. ... they think a couple of day it’s going to be fine, but I’ve been down that road before. You know, so I am kind of watching that one pretty close. We’ve had a lot of stuff.”

Obviously, the rest over the All-Star break was not enough to heal it up, and Turner — who had a spot start in place of Smyly when his fellow rookie missed time with a blister — will be recalled to take his spot in the rotation.

Turner got a no-decision in his only start this season, going five innings and allowing just one earned run, walking five and striking out three.


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